Best Buy, in cooperation with SanDisk and RealNetworks, is the latest company to join the growing list of competitors to Apple Computer's iTunes music service. Best Buy unveiled on Thursday a online music service, called Best Buy Digital Music Store, that allows customers to find, manage and purchase music online. It is powered by RealNetworks' Rhapsody 4.0 music service and lets users purchase and permanently download songs and albums, as well as subscribe monthly to listen to an unlimited number of songs, the company said.
As part of the offering, Best Buy also will carry and promote SanDisk Sana e200R Rhapsody MP3 players, which have been optimized to work with its new music service. Both the players and the service will be available starting Oct. 15, the company said. Jennifer Schaidler, vice president of music for Best Buy, said the company is differentiating its service from Rhapsody by offering exclusive artist content and tailoring that to what Best Buy customers are purchasing.